A hedgehog who found himself trapped in a cattle grid has been rescued.
The poor hedgehog was stuck in the cattle grid at Applegrove, Reynoldston, Swansea.
Following a call to the RSPCA, animal collection officer (ACO) Ellie West, attended and found the hedgehog had become jammed in a tight hole.
“He had got himself into quite a predicament,” she said. “When I arrived, I tried to pull him backwards by getting my hand around his waist but because of his spines catching on the sides and the top of the hole, I couldn’t move him at all.
“I tried pushing him through from the other side with a padded pole but again, just couldn’t move him.
“As I was looking into the grid I found a hog skull along with some other bones, which I assume were those of another trapped hog that had come to a horrible death.”
ACO West contacted wildlife rehabilitation centre Gower Bird Hospital, to see if they could help find a way to free the hedgehog.
“Simon Allen came and after a lot of scratching our heads, we asked if a neighbour could bring us a ruler or something long and flat that we could get into the hole and push through above the hedgehog, along the roof of the hole, to try and push the hogs spines down.
“Amazingly, it worked and we managed to get the poor hog out. Once freed, he tried to curl up but his rear end was so swollen and sore that he couldn’t.”
The hedgehog was taken to Gower Bird Hospital where they gave him fluids by injection under the skin to get him rehydrated.
The hedgehog was given a few days of peace and quiet with heat, food and water to allow him to recover and, following a clear bill of health, was released on Tuesday (26 April) back into the area he was found in. His weight on arrival was 776g but had increased to 920g on release.
AWO West said: “The hedgehog has been marked so if found again he can be identified – and this would not affect the hedgehog in the wild.
“We would advise that it is always worth checking cattle grids in your area in case there is any wildlife that has been trapped in them.
“It’s not unusual for animals to get stuck in cattle grids and some grids have ramps in them to allow an animal to climb back out. This grid in question had a ramp at one end, but the hog had fallen down at the opposite end and had to make its way through it to be able to free himself.”
For advice on helping hedgehogs in your garden, please visit http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/livingwith
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).